With the DSM-V, what is the SLP’s role in diagnosing autism versus a psychologist making the diagnosis?
DSM-V does not change our role at all in diagnosing autism spectrum disorder. I think we have always wanted to have that intellectual component and some of these children, as we know, will be able to complete an intellectual evaluation and some of them will not. It is still very much within our scope of practice to be able to diagnose autism, and it has been since 2004. If you have sufficient expertise looking at children on the autism spectrum, it is still just as pertinent today for us to be the diagnosing professional of choice over anyone else.
Tina Veale is Program Director and Professor in the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Midwestern University. Dr. Veale teaches courses in research methods, child language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, neurology, and motor speech disorders. Clinically, she addresses the needs of clients with autism and other developmental disabilities.